Metabolism? This is a word that you often hear when it comes to health and weight. So what exactly is “metabolism”? Your metabolism is the chemical reactions that occur within an organism. The term chemical metabolism (reactions within cells), helps maintain homeostasis for important functions by providing energy.
What?! Okay, in simple terms your Basal Metabolic Rate, or your “BMR” is the amount of calories expended when you are awake but at rest. So basically, the calories that you burn throughout the day, NOT including the calories that you burn during a workout.
Every individual has a different BMR depending on his/her lifestyle. Over time, many people find that their “metabolism” is NOT what it “used to be.” Why is this? The main contributor of a low metabolism or metabolic rate/BMR is consistently dieting. When we diet for an extended period of time, our metabolism can be effected and decline. It may sound crazy at first, but if you think about it, it makes sense. We deprive our body for so long and expect it to continue working optimally. Wrong! A slower BMR is our body’s way of telling us that it needs more nutrients and less stress!
Individuals who are yo-yo dieters, chronic dieters on low calories, or physique athletes are common cases that experience metabolic dysfunction. Signs that you have a low metabolism is when you are following a calorie restricted diet and exercise routine for a period of time, and no matter how much energy you expend or how few calories you are consuming, you will not lose weight. In some cases, you may actually GAIN weight depending on the severity and your diet history.
How can we fix this?? By doing what we call a “reverse diet.” It seems to be apparent that most people’s caloric intake is UNDER what they are metabolically able to handle. So, in a “reverse diet” you and your nutrition coach will be able to slowly increase your calories over a period of time without any weight gain or minimal weight gain. The beneficial idea here is to reach an optimized metabolic rate. Reverse dieting is a great idea when you have been dieting for multiple months and on low calories because your metabolism is suppressed alongside of your hormones, leptin and T3, which are important hormones when it comes to controlling your body’s fat burning abilities.